As Greece and the world mourns the loss of one of music's greatest composers, with tributes flying in from artists and governments around the world, Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church also sent their condolences for the passing of Mikis Theodorakis.
Condolences on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church were sent to Theodorakis' family by the President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
"His achievements in the art of music were repeatedly honored with international and national awards, including the highest distinction of the Russian Federation, the Order of Apostle St. Andrew the First-Called, noted Metropolitan Hilarion.
Meanwhile Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Thursday said that the death of Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is an irreplaceable loss not only for Greek people but for the entire world.
After mentioning that Theodorakis had been decorated with several Russian and Soviet medals of distinction, she noted that his music became "a symbol of Greece for Russian citizens and for peoples across our country."
Zakharova also described the Greek composer as a "familiar person," as "I think I grew up with his music, and I was educated in his name." In public schools like the one she attended in Moscow, Zakharova noted, his works were taught in music class and his biography was also being studied. She also quoted him during her press briefing as saying that he felt very close to Russia, in admiration and gratitude for its sacrifices to save the world from Nazism.